GOP- and Trump-supporter Robert Mercer to cut back on funding Republican candidates
Robert Mercer, a major force in fundraising for the GOP, has "disappeared," according to one confidant, because of the increased scrutiny he has received for backing Donald Trump and his agenda.
Donors, strategists and Trump allies, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak openly about the situation, said the conservative financier has retreated from leading the way in financially backing the president's agenda.
Mercer and his family didn't make as many political contributions in 2018 as they had in previous cycles, especially in contrast to the 2016 cycle, when Trump ran for president. Political strategists believe Mercer's lack of involvement this year should sound the alarm for Republicans looking for assistance in the fundraising game when they fight for Trump's re-election in 2020.
Mercer still gave millions this year, but the sum didn't stack up with previous years' amounts. He gave $6.4 million to Republicans, the lowest amount since 2012, when he and his wife, Diana, contributed $5.8 million, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. The Mercers finished the 2016 election as one of the top 10 political donors, by giving just over $25 million to conservative causes.
Robert Mercer typically avoids public scrutiny, but his involvement with Trump thrust him into the political arena – an unwelcome development for him.
"They've disappeared," a prominent Republican bundler told CNBC, referring to Mercer and his daughter Rebekah, another prominent GOP backer. "I think they just don't like being in the spotlight," this person added.
"He's out," said a former associate of Mercer. "He's not going to play any major role going forward. They're tired of the attacks from the Democrats and the media constantly ganging up on them."
The media, as well as government investigators, have gone after Mercer for his support of Cambridge Analytics – a data-mining company that used Facebook profiles to develop a targeted ad campaign. Another investigation centers on the Make America Number 1 PAC that was the target of a liberal interest group's complaint to the FEC that the PAC was directly coordinating with the Trump campaign.
Mercer has apparently had enough:
"A society founded on the basis of the individual freedom that flourishes under a limited federal government has no place for discrimination," Mercer said at the time. "Of the many mischaracterizations made of me by the press, the most repugnant to me have been the intimations that I am a white supremacist or a member of some other noxious group."
Conservatives are being bullied, shamed into silence, and driven from public life. The right has always been accused of racism, fascism, and "white supremacy," but those charges used to come from the left-wing fringe – until they didn't.
It has never been this bad. I don't blame Mercer one bit for retreating from the arena. Not everyone has the courage to confront the jackals in the media and left-wing online mobs. This is especially true of someone who has always preferred a background role in politics.
The left-wing drive to achieve conformity of thought has never been so determined. Anyone who stands in the left's way by thinking differently is casually branded a racist or a fascist. No matter how thick your skin, being unfairly tarred like that hurts and as long as it is politically advantageous to do so, it will continue.